FR4 and epoxy are related but have distinct differences. Here’s an explanation of each:
FR4: FR4 is a type of material used in the production of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electrical applications. It is a composite material composed of a fiberglass cloth impregnated with epoxy resin. The term “FR4” specifically refers to the grade of the material that meets flame retardant standards. FR4 is known for its excellent electrical insulation properties, mechanical strength, and dimensional stability. It is flame retardant, meaning it resists burning and helps prevent the spread of fire.
Epoxy: Epoxy is a versatile thermosetting resin that is widely used in various industries. It is a type of polymer that is created through the chemical reaction of an epoxy resin and a hardening agent (often referred to as a curing agent). Epoxy resins are known for their high strength, excellent adhesion, chemical resistance, and electrical insulation properties. They are used in a wide range of applications, including adhesives, coatings, composites, and encapsulations.
The main difference between FR4 and epoxy is that FR4 is a specific type of composite material that utilizes an epoxy resin as the matrix material, reinforced with fiberglass cloth. FR4 refers to the combination of fiberglass and epoxy resin that meets flame retardant standards for electrical applications. On the other hand, epoxy resin is the base material used to create various products and can be used in different forms and applications beyond FR4 laminates.
In summary, FR4 is a specific composite material made of fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin that meets flame retardant standards, primarily used in PCBs and electrical applications. Epoxy, on the other hand, is a broader term that refers to the resin itself, which can be used in various forms and applications beyond FR4.